As bad as my enterprise search is – don’t mess with it

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As bad as my enterprise search is – don’t mess with it

I know I have commented on this multiple times and have decided I will again. Just for the heck of it and because I still don’t understand the organizational decision making process where social influence is a ‘good’ thing in enterprise search.

People are emotional, machines are logical. As a result, many search vendors are adding the emotional to search thinking that it mimics people, not machines. Sort of forcing the search engine to take ‘my feelings’ and assume that’s what other colleagues want too. I think this is a mistake. Features such as likes and comments, recommendations are now being used to automatically tune the search engine.

This is the part I just don’t understand. For example, I am in marketing. I have two other colleagues. We each do different jobs. What I ‘like’ and think is important, or what I search on continually may be of no interest to my two colleagues, and vice versa. Yet, my searches (and theirs) will be boosted and the search engine then assumes ‘aha – this is what she is searching for’ when in reality, it is of no interest to me at all. Eventually this has the power to screw up search for everyone.

I am not against social. I do believe it has a place in an organization, with structure surrounding it, and believe it can be very valuable.

Am I way off base in my thoughts about the integration of social and search? What do you think? What are the benefits?